Thursday, December 10, 2009

Evaluating Websites I would recommend this website for our patron who wants to find out quickly any other books recommended by more than one supplier online for either the same author whom they recently read a book of him or any related book title similar to the one they have read. This makes it easier to search, find and buy a book or even note down the name of the book which they can then find out if the book is available in our library.

Book lamp: I would recommend this website for those readers who want to match books through an analysis of writing styles. BookLamp allows you to find books with a similar level of tone, tense, perspective, action, description, and dialog - while at the same time allowing you to specify details like... half the length. It is more for patrons who want similarity in the way the book has been written rather than a wide range of books for the same author.

What should I read next?: Very much similar to bookseer when searching but the result is more dependent on what other readers recommend for you to read next rather than the website filtering books for the same author or similar title, it simply help people to share their favourite items with each other so I recommend this to patrons who want to read the next book based on other readers recommendations.

An Author's Perspective

I have tried searching for Authors on tour live for one of bestselling and award winning author Diana Gabaldon and once I clicked on [listen to this podcast] it took me to another page where I managed to download and listen to the author reading and discussing her novel “ An Echo in the Bone “ . I have also searched for some other authors hoping to find podcasts under the selection of websites suggested but was only successful to find a readable interview in the below website: I would definitely recommend these websites to our patrons who wants to spend time finding out more info about their favourite author especially reading their Biography and listening to their interviews.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Readers and Booklovers

I first started searching in and once I typed in the recent book I have read "The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini" I saw a big list of all the books that Amazon, BookArmy and LibraryThing recommended for me , and to my big surprise I immediately figured out that among these titles some I already read like “A thousand Splendid Suns” by the same author Khaled Hosseini and another I am now reading which is “The lovely Bones by Alice Sebold” also in the list “The Boy in the striped Pyjamas “which is on my request list to borrow from the library. I must Say I was very pleased with the result as it shows it is greatly matching my test! What a great little website that combines three resources with valued information and recommendations. The greatest of all is once you click on the book that you would like to find out more about, it will take you to Amazon website. It is a shame though that bookseer website wasn't impressive in the way it is been designed but functionality wise is very much satisfactory.

Booklamp on the other side was far more complicated but good for those who wants to know which book matches the book that they have recently read and it is measured in different ways using their statistics measurements. You are also required to sign up for this website to use it.

I then visited what should I read next website and this was far simpler and easy to follow. Similar idea to bookseer website, it asks you for the title and the author of a book you have recently read but the difference is the result as the website provides you with recommendations by other readers rather than filtering other books for a specific author or books with similar title name.

Friday, November 27, 2009

File Converters

I loved Google Docs, what a great little tool and so easy to use. It is a must to know and will certainly help our patrons with converting files. There were many times in the past when I have received Word 2007 document at home and could not open it with my Word 2000 application and so this a great solution for users like me who had in the past an older version and couldn’t view it.

Below are my findings after converting the file:
Graphics are still in the same place
The image of the bullet has changed to normal bullet
Font style is still the same throughout the document
Font size has decreased in some places by 2pt
Bold and italics are still the same throughout the document
The table lost its black borders but the layout of the table is still the same.

Despite the minor changes that did occur while converting the file, the document is still very much readable and in terms of the layout, it is still the same so definitely recommended to all and a great service to offer in all our libraries.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Google Specialist Search Engines

I have always used You Tube in the past but looking at blinx for the first time and getting to use it, I personally like it a lot especially their Advanced Search option. It really helps when you want to search under different or specific providers or when you want to limit your content providers to the ones you think will have the results or the videos you want in one hit rather than having to go on each provider's website and search for what you are after. You Tube tend to only show you what it is been uploaded to You Tube results rather than searching other providers for results. I would definitely recommend blinx and will be using it in the future.

Since everything these days is done online, including shopping, viewing your bank statement and social networking, it makes sense to have magazines to view easily online and what a great way to search for your favourite magazine on Google and to be able to view it like a magazine and read it easily and what is even better is that on the contents page of a magazine you can actually click on the topic and it will take you straight to the page you would like to read more about. I believe this magazine option is useful for whether you are after a very old edition that you can't find or even a current edition where it is easier to search for and read without having to go anywhere to find it.

Google Web Searches

Sometimes we think that the word or the phrase that we type is meant to give us a great search result but in fact we get the opposite and sometimes it is not even related to what we are after.

So I started off with Google and I searched for the following "tips in the garden", I then viewed my results using show options and looked at videos, news, blogs etc. The search took less than 43 seconds and results were great. I could watch videos for some tips in the garden I can read forums and blogs. In fact the results were relevant to my query.

I then used exactly the same phrase in Yahoo, despite the fact that it was still as quick but the results were nothing like Google. And when I clicked to view videos and images using the links at the top of the screen, it took time to think. I wasn't impressed at all.

Next was bing, used the same phrase and results were good however you can't view videos or forums or blogs easily using a menu but they did have one positive tool and that was related searches on the left hand side. Simple and easy to use search engine but not a lot of search results like Google.

As for Exalead, very similar layout to Yahoo website however the results were more for websites that are selling goods so more for leads rather than knowledge based. They also had an added feature beside each of the search result and that is a small screenshot of the website itself for each search result which is something I am not very familiar with since we use Google all the time and this looks like an added feature to Exalead. The results weren't bad and they did have links to view all images related and videos related separately.

Likes, Google's show options especially wonder wheel and timeline. Bing for being so simple and their related searches feature.

Dislikes, Exalead's search result especially it is more to promote websites that sells rather than tips and knowledge.

Other Ways of Keeping up to Date

In this exercise I thought about something useful to be informed for so I have chosen three topics: My first was related to a subject which always I try to find information about it as I really love my roses so it was “Organic Rose care”. My second and third was “What is on in Auckland” and “Auckland weather” and that is because I need these information for my guests visiting Auckland during Christmas. My search was straight forward no duplicates or lengthy steps perhaps Google for most of us is really easy to use.

As a librarian myself I strongly recommend this service to my patrons who come to the library seeking latest information in one or two subjects and how wonderful it is to have all the updates they need with just setting an alert in Google.